Activities & Adventure 7 MINS READ

Rome in a Day: A 1 Day Rome Itinerary and The Top Things To Do In The City

Rome in a Day: A 1 Day Rome Itinerary and The Top Things To Do In The City

Activities & Adventure 7 MINS READ
Roman Forum ruin, in Rome, Italy.

There’s a whole heap of fabulous sights — from captivating piazzas to time-honored monuments — in Rome, meaning it would take a lifetime to fully explore the wonders of the “Eternal City”.

And while travelers should ideally plan to spend at least two days in the city, there’s no need to worry if your time there is limited. The secret is to plan your itinerary carefully and focus on discovering the most central areas of Rome, which feature the thickest concentration of sights and experiences, all within walkable distance of each other.

Visiting Rome in a day is no easy feat, so we’re here to ensure you get the most out of your stay. Here’s a well-curated itinerary that will give you a taste of the city and plenty of ideas for your next trip!

4 Pro Tips For Visiting A 1 Day in Rome Itinerary

  • Buy online tickets to the Colosseum and the Vatican in advance. This will allow you to save time, and avoid the long lines;
  • Deciding where to stay in Rome is crucial, especially if you have only one day in the city. Prefer more central areas such as Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Campo de Fiori Area, Piazza di Spagna, and Trastevere;
  • Don’t try to see all at once, as you’re likely to get exhausted and overwhelmed. Instead, prioritize spending more time discovering the city’s main sights;
  • Guided tours of the Colosseum and the Vatican are a great way to truly learn about the city’s history, especially if you’re short on time.

Rome in a Day

9 am to 12 pm | The Vatican

The Vatican, Rome, Italy.


📍 AddressVatican City. Get Directions
🚉 Getting ThereTake Line A to the Ottaviano-S. Pietro Station
⏰ Suggested Duration2-3 hours in the Vatican Museums

No matter if you have one day or a full week in Rome, visiting Vatican City is an absolute Rome must see. This history-filled city-state is the center of the Roman Catholic Church and the permanent seat of the Popes and home to a striking array of not only precious religious sites but also stellar museums.

With so many sights packed into the Vatican, it is recommended that you set aside at least 3-4 hours for your visit.

A great idea is to start by marveling at the St Peter’s Basilica, one of the most spectacular masterpieces of Renaissance architecture. Built in the 4th-century over the tomb of St. Peter the Apostle, the basilica is home to La Pietà, Michelangelo’s famous marble sculpture.

A visit to the Vatican is not complete without a stop at the Vatican Museums. Be sure to check out the Sistine Chapel, where you’ll be able to see the show-stopping ceiling with large frescoes by Michelangelo, as well as wall paintings by Sandro Botticelli, Domenico Ghirlandaio, and Pietro Perugino.

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1:30 pm to 4:30 pm | The Colosseum Complex

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy.


📍 AddressPiazza del Colosseo, 1. Get Directions
🚉 Getting ThereTake Line B to Colosseo Station
🤑 Ticket Price€18 per person
⏰ Suggested Duration1-3 hours

After catching a glimpse of the masterpieces of the Vatican Museums, and standing in awe of the beauty of St Peter’s Basilica, is time for a well-deserved lunch break.

Fortunately, Rome is known for its mouthwatering selection of restaurants, meaning you won’t have trouble finding a great spot to eat. But with such a glorious array of options, it can be hard to narrow down where to go. To help you optimize your time, and make a quick (yet smart) decision, we’ve created a guide to the best restaurants in Rome.

Now that you have refueled your battery, time to head over to explore the wonders of ancient Rome, aka the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.

Considered one of the best attractions in Rome, the Colosseum was built nearly 2,000 years ago under the rule of Emperor Vespasian. It is the largest ancient amphitheater ever built. A great idea is to go on a guided tour of the arena floor, which will take you to the arena where gruesome gladiator fights were held.

Not far from the Colosseum lies the Arch of Constantine. Commissioned by the Roman Senate to celebrate Emperor Constantine the Great’s victory over Maxentius at the Battle of Milvian Bridge in AD 312, this is the last monument of Imperial Rome and one of the city’s most photographed places.

Then, make your move to the Roman Forum, which is located right between Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum. The forum was once the heart of the city, and it’s now filled with a series of ruins of ancient buildings that used to host various events such as elections, public speeches, criminal trials, and gladiatorial combats.

Next stop? Palatine Hill, also known as the birthplace of Rome. Located 40 meters above the Roman Forum, it harbors an array of imposing buildings, including palaces, once constructed for the high society.

If you are ambitious enough, you can head over to Il Vittoriano after exploring the “Colosseum Complex”, located just a 5-minute walk from the Roman Forum, this massive neoclassical monument was erected between 1885 and 1935 to honor Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy. From the top of the construction, you’ll be able to indulge in the most jaw-dropping views of the city.

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5 pm | The Trevi Fountain

Fontana di Trevi, Rome, Italy.


📍 AddressPiazza di Trevi. Get Directions
🚉 Getting ThereTake Line A to Barberini Station
🔎 Guided TourStarting from $13
⏰ Suggested Duration1 hour

A leisure 15-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain is a great way to wind down after a sight-packed urban exploration. Measuring 86 ft high and 161.3 ft wide, this dreamy Baroque-style fountain designed by Italian architect Nicola Salvi is a sight to behold with its dreamy sculptures of mythological creatures and whimsical allegorical figures.

Spare a few minutes to admire the beauty of the otherworldly Fontana di Trevi, and don’t forget to toss a coin into the water. According to legend, those who do that will one day return to Rome (hopefully with more time!).

5:30 pm | The Pantheon

The Pantheon, Rome, Italy.


📍 AddressPiazza della Rotonda. Get Directions
🚉 Getting ThereTake Line A to Barberini Station
🤑 Ticket Price€5 for adults. Free for children
⏰ Suggested Duration1-2 hours

In case you want to make the most of your day in Rome, try to spend at least 40 minutes in the Pantheon. First built as a temple during the reign of Augustus (27 BC – 14 AD), and then rebuilt by the emperor Hadrian in 126 AD., this is the best-preserved construction of ancient Rome.

Some of the building’s highlights include a massive domed ceiling that is almost half the length of a football field, massive bronze doors, and monumental tombs of major Italian historical figures such as the artist Raphael and the former Queen Margherita.

6:30 pm | Dinner & Piazza Navona

Piazza Navona, Rome, Italy.


📍 AddressPiazza Navona, 00186. Get Directions
🚉 Getting ThereTake Line A to Barberini Station
⏰ Suggested Duration2 hours

By now, you have already soaked in plenty of history and culture. So, if you want to take some rest and enjoy an idle stroll, head over to Piazza Navona, one of the city’s most alluring squares.

While meandering through this eye-popping piazza, you can see a variety of stunning fountains — Fontana del Moro, Fontana de ‘Calderari, and the spectacular Fountain of the Four Rivers —, all designed during the papacy of Gregory XIII.

There are several lip-smacking bars and restaurants near the square, so you can also take the opportunity to indulge in an authentic Italian-style meal while watching the action unfold around you.

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9 pm | Piazza di Spagna & The Spanish Steps

Piazza di Spagna & the Spanish Steps, Rome, Italy.


📍 AddressPiazza di Spagna, 00187 Roma RM, Italy. Get Directions
🚉 Getting ThereTake Line A to Spagna Station
🤑 Ticket PriceFree to visit
⏰ Suggested Duration1 hour

To wrap up your day in Rome, grab a gelato and head over to Piazza di Spagna. Rising up from the square, you’ll see an ample and majestic Rococo-style staircase named “Spanish Steps.” This is the perfect spot to slowly enjoy your dessert while taking in the most lovely views of the “Eternal City.”

Transportation in Rome: How to Get Around The City

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some must-see attractions to include in a Rome itinerary?

Key attractions to include in a Rome itinerary are the Colosseum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and Piazza Navona.

How many days do you need in Rome to see the major attractions?

To see the major attractions in Rome, it is recommended to spend at least four days in the city.

What are some of the best places to visit in Rome for a memorable experience?

Some of the best places to visit in Rome include the Colosseum, Vatican City, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, and Piazza Navona.

Where can I find a map of Rome attractions to help plan my visit?

You can find an interactive map of Rome attractions online to guide you through the city’s key landmarks and points of interest.

Are guided tours recommended for seeing Rome in one day?

Yes, guided tours are recommended for seeing one day in Rome as they provide a more efficient and structured way to visit the city’s major attractions, such as the Colosseum, Vatican, Trevi Fountain, and Pantheon.

Ritesh Raj

COO at CuddlyNest

Editorial Policy

Last update: 24 Apr 2024

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